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Sass for Web Designers review

I had this little book by Dan Cederholmlaying around for quite some time. I’ve bought it as a reference for when I would try to get my head around Sass. Now I finally managed to write the review. Let’s get right into it.
Sass for Web Designers book

Table of contents

I’ve hesitated to start with Sass. This book was written to help with that: an informative, concise introduction to all things Sass. Honestly, I think Sass needs a getting started guide for a designer anyway.


The foreword in Dan’s book is written by a person that knows a thing or two about CSS, and runs a hugely valuable web site called CSS Tricks. If you’ve ever googled something CSS related, Chris Coyier will most likely be high up there in the search results. Chris says “By the time you finish this book and give Sass a real try on your first project, you’ll be a master of 95% of the important, truly value-adding parts of Sass”

  • Chapter 1: Why Sass
  • Chapter 2: Sass Workflow
  • Chapter 3: Using Sass
  • Chapter 4: Sass and Media Queries

Chapter 1: Why Sass

In this first part Dan tells the story of how he was reluctant to start with Sass as he writes his stylesheets by hand. It took him a while to come around. In this chapter Dan explains what Sass is and he also goes into the misconceptions about Sass.

Chapter 2: Sass Workflow

In chapter two it is time to get your hands dirty and start using it. When you are on a Mac it’s relatively easy to get started but there still is a need to fire up Terminal. Dan also shows all the necessary commands. I’m not scared of using Terminal, but if I can avoid messing around with my system I opt for that and use a tool instead. My tool of choice is CodeKit. Luckily Dan also sums up all others as well. There are plenty of options at your disposal. The last part in this chapter deals with choosing your output.

Chapter 3: Using Sass

Chapter three is where the real adventure starts. You’ll use a fictional project (Sasquatch Records) as an example to get your head around the most valuable and easiest to add core Sass features such as nesting rules, referencing parent selectors, variables, mixins, extends and content blocks. Here Dan takes the time to explain each part in an understandable manner, step by step. If you’re done with this section you’ve got the basics of Sass covered.

Chapter 4 Sass and Media Queries

The final chapter takes things a serious step further. This section is where I needed to re-read things a few times to get my head around it. Dan explains some useful techniques for simplifying the use of media queries. You’ll learn how to nest media queries, using variables to define breakpoints and how to‘Retinize’ your HiDPI background images. The book ends with a valuable and useful resource section with links to the most useful Sass tutorials, mixin libraries, apps and frameworks.


Just like Dan I was reluctant to start with Sass as I mentioned earlier. When I first dangled my feet into this world of preprocessors I’ve used Compass, but now I’ve switched to pure Sass as it kinda feels like the world has moved on and Compass isn’t getting any updates anymore. This book was a great companion and reference to see if I did things correctly. If you’ve been writing , CSS the traditional way like I’ve done for many years, Sass feels like a radical change. When something radical takes place you need help and Dan’s approach is wonderful just like in his other books, Bulletproof CSS, Handcrafted CSS, andCSS3 for Web Designers. Dan takes the time to explain his examples thoroughly so you fully understand what’s going on. For me such a thorough instruction was needed to grasp how things work. I would recommend it if you are still doubting about Sass. Dan’s guidance is a reassuring way to get started with the important concepts. There’s much more to learn, but when you’re done with this book you’re off to a great start. You can buy the book over at A Book Apart.